Updated: Nov 17, 2019
For the curious and skeptics who see the concept of scheduling open time as defeating the purpose, bear with me as I have you consider the possibility of gaining the equivalent feeling of open time in your calendar and in your life by using your schedule.
Like most of us, my life is full and busy and I often feel I am missing time to think, time to be creative and time for myself. On the days when I don't see any white space in my calendar, I have a feeling of dismay of missing out on what white space could be generating for my work, for my family and for me. I can't seem to find the time to get unscheduled for time for me.
How can you find white space where there is no white space? What would happen if you scheduled white space?
Look at what might be in your daily routine and schedule that would let you see and use your time differently to realize a resulting effect equivalent to white space.
I recently began walking to work. I put my phone away, focus on my 10-minutes and let my mind go. On that 10-minute walk I experience many ideas and solutions and I arrive at work feeling energized and full of new perspectives.
I look forward to my morning walk time and the creative return I get from such a short and routine time slot.
This weekend was a day of plans with friends. We scheduled them months ago and did some juggling to book. Part of our plan for the day was to go sailing. We sailed to a point where land wasn't visible and not another boat was to be seen. With no distractions I focused on the moment, I enjoyed the beauty of sailing, the perfect summer day and the company of great friends. In that time my brain shut down and that is an unusual feat. No thoughts equated to no stress. At the end of the sail, I felt incredibly rejuvenated. My schedule gave me the same return and more as finding white space. I now see the potential for creating the same effect of white space for me, walking and water are starting points in my schedule.
So what are the things you do every day or have in your schedule that you can take on with a different objective?
Consider how you think about you in your plans. Contemplate the potential of embracing your schedule and leverage the time slots differently to give your the same effect as white space.
Need ideas to develop the possibilities white space? Start with these:
Wake up 15 minutes earlier
Use a routine like showering and brushing your teeth as whitespace
Take a 10-minute walk about
Lift your head, get out of your head and look around your surrounds. Really take everything in
5 minutes scrolling through your library of photos
Schedule or use an app to remind you for breaks, thinking shifts or habits
Realize the feeling of white space in your schedule.
Lisa W. Haydon is the President and Founder of Pivotal Coaching Inc. She left her comfortable corporate career several years ago to follow her passion of helping people realize their potential and companies to realize high performance. Lisa is a growth focused entrepreneur, leadership development consultant and certified executive coach. To her clients, she brings business experience with prestigious corporations and continuous education. Lisa’s work in business operations and B to B sales expertise allowed her to create a differentiated coaching model and client experience. Lisa and Pivotal Coaching are known for 1:1 and cohort Programs in leadership development and sales effectiveness.